SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The mayor of a suburban New York village has spent a night in jail for contempt of court, making it the latest chapter in the village’s long-running feud– the origin of which is a mystery, CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported.
Mayor Demeza Delhomme was jailed Friday for allegedly failing to open a civic center building for Spring Valley’s summer camp.
The day camp has been held at the building for 14 years and was authorized for 2014. But Youth Director Sonia Barton, who has been suspended in a conflict with the mayor last month, and the village attorney said that meant camp couldn’t be held.
State Supreme Court Justice Gerald Loehr ordered the mayor to open the building, and Delhomme said he had. But two trustees said some of the office doors were still locked, and Delhomme was arrested.
“The judge so ordered for the mayor to follow a certain order and he didn’t and therefore he’s held in contempt,” Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco told CBS 2.
Barton said most of the doors at the center have been unlocked.
“We are doing everything that we can to ensure that the children have at least two and a half weeks of programming,” Barton said.
As CBS 2 reported, parents like Peter Lewis, whose 9-year-old daughter Khayla has been shut out of the summer camp she loves, are expressing no mercy for Delhomme.
“He’s right where he deserves to be,” Lewis said.
Delhomme was still in jail Saturday evening and as CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported, he won’t be getting out any time this weekend.
Summer camp is scheduled to resume Wednesday, according to CBS 2, and the mayor could be out of jail as soon as Monday.
“The camps are not cheap. They are not located around here, you have to take a bus or a cab,” Lewis said.
Calls from CBS 2 to attorneys representing the mayor have not yet been returned
Mayor Delhomme was in the headlines in June, saying he would never let the village shut down as the village board failed to renew its insurance policy, which was set to expire.
“You think I would allow the police cars go down? I can sign checks,” Delhomme said in June.
Expired insurance would have shut down all village operations, including police, public works, village buildings and workers compensation. But with policy details delivered, those concerned were satisfied, CBS 2’s John Slattery reported.
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